5/03/2008 10:25pm, #51Originally Posted by glassjawbart
Standards for a McDojo are largely opinion, but there are commonly seen practices that may be widely regarded as questionable and are indicators that a school is a McDojo, though these practices may not necessarily be exclusive to McDojos. Schools that would not generally be classified as such, have adopted some of these practices to varying degrees, the line being the difference between profit and profiteering. Practices that cause concern include exaggerated or fake qualifications, the use of exploitative contracts and fees, advertising of training that only has a martial arts 'flavour' as actual instruction in fighting, equipment monopolies and restriction on activities outside the school. While the practice of exploiting the mysticism of martial arts is not new it is perceived as having become more prevalent in modern times.Schools that would not generally be classified as such, have adopted some of these practices to varying degrees
I realize its pointless for me to ask you or anyone else to stop by and look around and/or take the free trail since that something that will not happen. I sure as hell don't have the time to devote to an argument which won't really go anywhere.
Eventaully, some one may show up.
5/03/2008 11:43pm, #52
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Vancouver, BC
- BJJ, judo, rapier
Apart from the obvious fact that a McDojo has to do with commercial (mal)practices rather than the material taught being crappy (that's bullshido -- keep your material straight!), even the three-years-old price of $150/month is about what I pay at a Gracie Barra school -- an association known for being expensive -- and I get access to jiu-jutsu classes seven days a week. Theoretically, I could go to thirteen jiu-jitsu classes, two kickboxing classes, two boxing classes, and two crosstraining classes, if my work schedule (and cardio) allowed. 19 classes a week is rather better bang for your buck than three (up from two!), and again, that's Gracie Barra.
Edit: Actually, there are another four jiu-jitsu sessions that don't overlap with the thirteen mentioned above; I just don't have access to those as a beginner.
Last edited by Petter; 5/03/2008 11:45pm at .
5/04/2008 12:04am, #53
Right and that is why I highlighted the bold. McDojo practices doesn't make a bad school. The thing that upset the OP was, at the time, 3 Days, without unlimited practice made it a McDojo.
I made that specific distinction earlier.
Apparently that has been corrected. Yet, people want to post and not read the entire thread.
5/04/2008 2:29am, #54
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
- Krav / (Kick)Boxing / BJJ
I think we've gotten a little off-topic, so let me bring it back full-circle to my original point and substantiations.
1. My experiences at DAMA are based off of taking advantage of their offer of 1 month of classes. This offer still appears to be in full force for $19.95:
* 1 Semi-Private Introduction Class with lesson
* 1 Full Month of Group Classes
* Student Information Packet
3. The "full month" of group classes were 2 group classes per week, one hour per class. Meaning I had to decide if I wanted to pay over $1200 in a year based on only 8 hours of familiarity with the school. In addition, they said that I had to tell them which classes I would plan on attending in advance, which is very strange and out of character with other schools I have attended or inquired with. The only limitations I've ever seen with promotional periods was keeping students out of advanced classes if they weren't ready.
4. Even after I quit the promotional period and turned in my uniform, they continued to solicit me for business. They sent an additional solicitation after I indicated I wanted them to stop. After the BBB filing, they stopped.
5. Degerberg's school is one of the top earning schools in the country, and Degerberg himself appears to be in the same league as Inosanto and the like in promoting the study of multiple arts and devoting themselves to their craft. Asides from the semi-private lesson I had, I have nothing to say, positive or negative, about the classes there.
6. Even if I didn't have the awesome student rate I did at POW Kickboxing, it would have been $125/month for UNLIMITED classes. At my present school, without the student rate, it would be about $100/month for UNLIMITED classes. Degerberg's charge of $150 for 8 hours of classes in a month is the equivalent of if I grabbed two buddies and did semi-privates all the time with my instructor. No one here would blink twice if they had top-notch instructors and unlimited instruction for that price; the fact that it's two hours a week MAXIMUM for that rate is pretty McDojo.
Unless any of the above has radically changed in the three years since I wrote it, I think it's fair to say that the school is a McDojo.
5/04/2008 4:31am, #55
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
I just graduated to 3rd grade and leaned how to put together a sentance. Judah's thread has never knocked the schools instruction at all. I could understand that having a backgroung in martial arts and being taught the basics could be a little boring, however the intro class is there only to help new students who have never participated in martial arts receive a brief tutorial into what they plan on practicing. At any school you go to, if u are just starting you should start off as a white belt, going through the basics just like everyone else.
I am friends with some of the guys that have been at the school since it opened and have heard stories of times that black belts from other schools came in and wanted to start off as black belts. When Fred did not allow this, he had them spar with some of the guys who had been there for awhile and they soon realized they nee to pay their dues.
I'm sure the school has changed a lot since then, however Fred does not lot just anyone teach at his school. I do agree that there are plenty of McDojo tenedencies, however if dedicated, one can gain knowledge from several martial arts an utilize them oth on the strret and in the ring.
Plus there is always the fun hursday night Huet Crew
5/04/2008 4:56am, #56Originally Posted by ki-ai master
12/06/2008 4:13pm, #57
sorry, i know necroposting for my first post is probably worthy of the tar/feather treatment, but i feel like i do have something of (at least, a little) value to add to this thread, and more importantly, i want to get rid of that annoying "POST SOMETHING NEWB" text at the top of the screen.
while visiting chicago a few months ago, i shopped around for local martial arts schools. in my mind, finding a good school was slightly more important than finding an apartment, since i would probably sleep at the school once i found a good one anyway. i visited several schools in the city after looking under various google entries. i was interested in possibly starting a new art when i moved to my new home, in particular wing chun. several of the degerberg ads claimed to teach wing chun so i put it down to visit.
i can definitely back up a few of the observations made in the initial 3-year old post. my seven years of martial arts experience amounted to absolutely nothing in the eyes of the relatively fresh student who gave me the tour. i want to be clear though: i didn't expect an automatic belt placing, any sort of unreasonable concessions, or ego patronizing. i just found the unnessessary explanations of the basics to be somewhat annoying. i know how to tie a belt. that much hasn't changed since the original post in 2005.
back to the topic of wing chun, i brought up wing chun lessons after they showed me a side training room with a mook. the girl had no idea what it was or what it was for, despite being either a blue or purple belt. i asked if they actually teach wing chun there and she answered that it was an influence on the "blend." i'm of the school of thought that you're probably just starting to understand an art with 10 years under your belt, so when i found out there were 15 different styles cited in the "blend," i was unimpressed.
the instructors that you actually came in contact with were touted as being brought up through the degerberg academy, all in house. i don't know if talent was brought in from elsewhere and then ran through the system as requisite for hiring, or if all the instructors had only ever really done was in-house.
overall, i got a very in-house feel, like the school was a vacuum. i get the feeling that students of other arts are not what this school is after, it wants new faces not initiated to martial arts, with no basis to compare the school to. it was a little kool-aid-ish.
rate wise, it was extremely misleading, but so were most of the other schools i visited. i imagine it would be easy to get scammed while looking for instruction in chicago. i was already turned off by the "blend" concept and didn't sign up. whether martial arts should blended or not, it should be personal. do the blending yourself, imo.
again, sorry about the necropost, but i felt compelled to share my experience after a few initiates of the school called for other people to give it a look. i may have been wrong, but the tone of their posts also gave an air of inexperience with other styles and schools, and confirmed my initial suspicions.
Last edited by pistonhurricane; 12/06/2008 4:15pm at .
12/06/2008 4:21pm, #58
Heh not a bad first post you fucking necromancer.
12/06/2008 4:33pm, #59Originally Posted by Omega
i tried ;)
i figure you guys probably get a lot of people stopping by to get a heads up on suspicious schools, searching the forums for specific instructors or schools. in that capacity, i figure my post could be useful despite its lack of uh... punctuality.
12/06/2008 8:23pm, #60
One problem I've seen with JKD schools is thay they will put in the Wooden Dummy, but because they do not know the wooden dummy form, they never really utilize this training instrument to its full potential, and it hangs there like a decoration. I know we like to make fun of Wing Chun, but the only thing worse, is JKD people doing bits and pieces of the Chun, without having a basic proficiency in this art.